‘Don’t let Guptas become serious security risk to country'
The ‘influential’ Gupta family must not be allowed to become a serious security risk to the country‚ says Congress of the People party (COPE).
“We must never be indifferent to the activities of the influential Gupta family. The family seems to enjoy extraordinary privileges and apparently has access to sensitive state information that no one else has.
“It also appears to us that important decisions are being taken in Saxon World that the Union Buildings only come to hear of later‚” COPE spokesman Dennis Bloem asserted on Saturday.
“With regular monotony we are learning that Saxon World is the first to inform MPs of their imminent promotion as deputy ministers or ministers.
“It started with Fikile Mbalula being informed of his appointment as a minister. Msebenzi Zwane and Des van Rooyen were other ministers that were similarly informed of their promotions.
"Now the nation is hearing that Mcebisi Jonas was asked whether he would be interested in succeeding Nene as Minister of Finance‚” Bloem stated.
He added that while all of this was out in the public domain‚ President Jacob Zuma had not said a word to set the record straight.
“His silence on the matter is deafening and frightening as well‚” said Bloem. He said the Financial Times had reported that a fortnight before Nhlanla Nene was fired‚ Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas was a visitor to the Gupta home. There he was supposedly asked if he wanted to become the next minister of finance.
“The Gupta family also appears to have enormous and perhaps even undue influence with the Premiers of the Free State‚ North West and Mpumalanga. This is scary.
“COPE views this new development in our country in a very serious light. A year ago‚ the Guptas felt powerful enough to land a plane without authorisation at the Waterkloof Airforce base with more than 220 passengers entering the country without any security clearance.
"After their landing these wedding guest were given state VIP protection escort to Sun City in Mafikeng in the North West.
“This was more like a movie scene depicting the goings on in a fictitious land rather than in a state which really existed. The entire ANC blinked and would have done nothing if it had not been for the huge public uproar‚” said Bloem.
“Even though we are a constitutional state with the Constitution as the supreme law‚ South Africa under Mr Zuma feels more and more like a banana state. No wonder Enoch Godongwana called Zuma’s administration a ‘nonsensical government’ on Thursday and encouraged Popcru members to march against it.
“It is only a ‘nonsensical government’ that will allow an influential family to possess state secrets and to exert unheard of influence on the President‚ ministers and Premiers. The threat to the state is very serious indeed‚” Bloem charged.
“COPE challenges the ANC to take strong and decisive action against those who are permitting the capture of the state. The silence of the ANC and its alliance partners is most disconcerting.
"No family‚ however wealthy‚ can be allowed to do what the Gupta family has apparently been doing. The ANC and its alliance partners are imperiling our democracy and our national security‚” Bloem added.